The following provides a synopsis of TRAZER functions and methods covered by the issued patents. It is not meant to define the scope of our patent claims, or to be all-inclusive. Enjoy this brief summary of our area of interest and expertise.
Measures of Functional and Physiologic Performance
TRAZER employs computer-based simulation to create an accurate analog of the functional challenges of sports, work, leisure and daily living activities that allows quantification of core physical and physiologic performance measures – reaction time, acceleration, speed, power, endurance, optimum movement posture, jump height, cardiovascular efficiency, caloric expenditure, and distance traveled. The methods for the associated functional, computer-modulated exercise challenges, real-time performance feedback, data analysis, reporting and documentation are also covered.
Functional User Control of Protocol/Game Activities
TRAZER creates a computer-generated virtual space that is the analog of the real 3-D physical space which is the testing and exercise area. Continuous measurement of the user’s movement and positional changes in response to TRAZER’s interactive cueing controls the user’s animated character (an “avatar”) residing in the virtual space.The avatar’s coordinate position in the virtual space corresponds to the user’s real-time coordinates in the physical space in each of the X, Y and Z dimensions.
Natural, Intuitive User Interface and Scaling Transformation
TRAZER provides a natural, intuitive user control of training and game activities. The user’s movements in the physical world are translated to his or her avatar’s movements in the same vector paths/directions. For example, if the user moves forward and to the right, the avatar moves in a parallel and scaled distance representation forward and to the right. The visually perceived parallel movement and the scaling transformation are intuitively interpreted by the user to create interactive fidelity between the physical space and the computer-generated virtual space.
The translation of user movements in the physical space to that of his or her avatar in the virtual space are accomplished by scaling transformations – either stretching or shrinking – to accommodate the size of the display and the goals or requirements of the specific activity. This clear and functionally consistent interaction between the user’s real-world movements and resulting actions in the virtual world enable accurate assessment and training of functional or sport-relevant movement capabilities. The movement cues delivered to the user elicit natural, intuitive movement responses.
In most sport competitions, the player assumes either a defensive or an offensive role. TRAZER allows the simulation of both defensive and offensive roles to test, train, or even entertain the user. In the defensive role, the user attempts to guard or precisely follow the virtual offensive player attempting to continuously minimize the spatial difference between himself and his virtual opponent. In the offensive role – for example as a ball carrier – the user attempts to evade the virtual defensive player by executing abrupt changes in movement direction or rate that cause an out of phase relationship with the virtual defender.
Multiplayer Games & Protocols
TRAZER simulations can generate multi-user games and protocols to create either a competitive or communal experience for the purpose of testing or training physical performance. While each participating user or player moves in his or her personal physical space, all participating individuals can be represented by avatars in the displayed virtual space.
Performance Scaling (Handicapping)
TRAZER can employ measured differences among various users to create simulations that scale each participating individual’s performance up or down. This performance “handicapping” allows users of differing capabilities – for example, athletic trainer and client, father and son, athlete and couch potato – to train or compete on a “level” virtual playing field. Scaling factors can be applied to adjust for differences between users’ skill and training levels during paired or grouped multiplayer games and protocols.
Measurement of Upper Extremity or Segmental Movements
The TRAZER Beacon can be held or worn on the user’s hand or other body location to allow TRAZER’s patented measurements to be extracted relating to the user’s ability to initiate and coordinate movement of his or her upper extremity or other body part . As with all TRAZER patent constructs, protection applies regardless of the sensor means (optical, magnetic, radio frequency, mechanical, or other) employed to track movement.
Externally Applied Resistance Combined with Movement in Interactive Simulation
Forces required during TRAZER movement activities can be increased or attenuated using externally applied resistance devices such as elastomeric bands to provide physical resistance or damping to the user’s movements in all three movement planes.
Tracking Movement in Conjunction with the Use of Other Exercise Apparatus TRAZER can be used in conjunction with other exercise devices such as slide boards and balance training modalities to provide real-time feedback and/or scoring to improve motivation and compliance.
Reactive Power Training
TRAZER Reactive Power Training combines reactive training devices (TRAZER systems) with other types of strength and power training machines. With Reactive Power Training, the primary descriptive variable of all activities included in the exercise program is power. This single variable provides the common denominator that can be used to motivate and track performance throughout the exercise session regardless of the individual machines combined with TRAZER in the program. Peak power, average power and total work – the cumulative sum of power applied in an exercise session – can be used to track progress over time. Reactive Power Training enables accurate, objective assessment and comparisons of the functional training benefits derived from varying combinations of closed-chain and open-chain resistance training machines and protocols when used in conjunction with TRAZER performance training and testing capabilities.
Blending of Cognitive and Academic Challenges with Physiologic and Movement Challenges to Enhance Learning
Our U.S. Patent 6,749,432 covers the use of movement-based interactive simulation with learning and education applications. TRAZER can present cognitive and academic challenges that require problems to be solved through movement. This enables mental challenges that go beyond perception, interpretation and reaction to take advantage of kinesthetic learning pathways and elevated metabolic states that have been proven to speed learning and increase retention. Programs ranging from speech therapy and spelling to math and geography can be applied with both normal and learning disabled children, and with patients recovering from neurological trauma or disease.